By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Physicians at Abington Memorial Hospital are advocating pregnant women between 27 and 33 weeks gestation receive a whooping cough vaccine.

Recent research shows the vaccine is not only safe for mom, but will be transferred safely to the baby in utero.

Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Abington Memorial Hospital Dr. Steven Shapiro says part of the reason there is resurgence in whooping cough or pertussis is because the last generation or so has been given a reformulated vaccine to reduce reaction.

“The vaccine that we have been using probably for the last generation or so has resolved a lot of the very significant reactions from the shots by changing the way it was formulated.”

But the immunity the shots provide doesn’t last as long. Shapiro says the population most at risk for death when contracting whooping cough is newborns.

“If we can give a pregnant mom vaccine prior to delivery in enough time to allow her immune system to produce antibody we can protect the newborn.”

Shaprio says pregnant women should receive it between 27 and 33 weeks of gestation to give their bodies about two months to produce antibody that can transfer to the baby via the placenta. He says new research indicates this is a safe vaccine to give.

Up until this time physicians at Abington were ordering vaccines to be given to moms after giving birth.

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